Trump Isn’t A Conservative—And That’s A Good Thing

Trump Isn’t A Conservative—And That’s A Good Thing, by Frank Close.

Trump never claimed to be a student of Russell Kirk or William F. Buckley. But as the president’s actions have shown, he is at war with the progressives who have co-opted American civil society — and is willing to go further than any previous conservative to defeat them.

Instead of “conservative,” the president would be more accurately described as a radical “anti-progressive.” The difference? Conservatives are willing to attack progressives — to a point — but never to the detriment of the institutions they cherish and respect. Playing by these rules, conservatives are doomed to fail as progressives, who do not share the same respect for institutions, capture and dominate every American institution with the full intention of using and abusing them.

But, like the progressives, Trump doesn’t play by these ridiculous rules designed to keep conservatives stuck in a perpetual state of losing — a made-for-CNN version of the undefeated Harlem Globetrotters versus the winless Washington Generals. Trump instead seeks to fight and delegitimize any institution the Left has captured, and rebuild it from the ground up. …

President Trump is often criticized by detractors on both sides of the political spectrum for his willingness to attack our nation’s institutions. Whether it be the FBI, the NFL, or even CNN, no “nonpartisan” institution has been spared. This has bothered many, especially elite conservatives, who have great respect for these long-standing institutions and believe them to be the bedrock of our republic.

This betrays a fundamental naïveté — that these institutions are somehow above reproach and not subject to the same infectious politicization to which the rest of society has succumbed. That assertion, of course, is ridiculous on its face.

As most conservatives outside the beltway understand, and as President Trump’s voters surely understood in the 2016 election, progressives have successfully captured the vast majority of our nation’s institutions, distorting them to serve their own ends. Although many of these institutions — academia, the media, entertainment, legal and judicial — once stood above politics in serving all Americans, most have now surrendered to progressives’ relentless push to turn every area of civil society into a propaganda arm for their politics.

Prior to Trump, elite conservative leaders generally accommodated to this progressive framework. Because of their reverence for our nation’s institutions and the traditional sense of the appropriateness of the constitutional system, conservatives largely limited their attacks against institutions to the rhetorical and the ideological. The idea of calling the entire legitimacy of specific institutions into question, however, was beyond the pale. …

For decades, progressives have sought to capture America’s institutions to marginalize conservatives and shut down conservatives ideas. Prior to Trump, they were largely successful in doing that. Now they are facing an existential threat to the future of their movement — a Republican president who is willing to get in the mud, break a few rules (that previously only applied to Republicans anyway), and do whatever it takes to win.

At last, an article in the official conservative press that really understands what is happening. Read it all.